Fact Check: F-16 Fighter Jets Ordered By Bulgaria Are NOT Worse Than Australian F-18 Jets Reportedly Rejected By Ukraine

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: F-16 Fighter Jets Ordered By Bulgaria Are NOT Worse Than Australian F-18 Jets Reportedly Rejected By Ukraine New Upgrades

Are F-16 fighter jets ordered by Bulgaria worse than retired Australian F-18s offered to Ukraine, which one Australian publication claims were compared to "flying trash"? No, that's not true: Bulgaria has ordered new and modified F-16 Block 70 fighter jets that contain some upgrades and technology found in next-generation fighter jets. The reference to "flying trash" has not been substantiated, and a deal to provide F-18s to Ukraine has not been decided.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) by @alexandertodorov65 in early February 2024, with a caption (translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

This is an article from an Australian newspaper. Ukraine does not want the F-18 garbage from Australia! And we are waiting for the even worse F-16s!

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-02-08 at 9.52.54.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Feb 8 07:57:28 2024 UTC)

The claim says that F-16 (archived here) fighter jets ordered by Bulgaria are worse compared to retired Australian F/A-18 Hornet (archived here) fighter jets in service with the Australian Air Force since 1984. According to one Australian media publication, F/A-18s were turned down by Ukraine and referred to by one high-ranking unnamed Ukrainian Air Force official as "flying trash."

However, Bulgaria plans to purchase (archived here) brand-new F-16 Block 70 modification fighter jets (archived here), which, according to U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin is "the most advanced 4th generation fighter ever built" with fifth generation fighter radar capabilities, as well as other system upgrades.

The post refers to and shows an article (archived here) from the Australian publication Financial Review dated January 30, 2024. It claims that a senior unnamed Ukraine Air Force official said "We don't want your flying trash" in response to a discussion about the transfer to Ukraine of some Australian retired F-18s. The same article also reported that Ukraine had decided it wanted F-16s which may provide a better advantage to Ukraine.

According to press reports in Ukraine dated February 2, 2024, seen here (archived here) and here (archived here), the Ukrainian Air Force denied the claims in the Australian media that Ukraine refused the retired Australian combat aircraft.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat (archived here) responded to a Facebook post, saying that there was no agreement between the two countries for the planes in question and added, "We are following the only available path to the Western planes. As much as possible!"

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